NFHCA names 2023 Hall of Fame class and Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Aug 21, 2023 | 2023-2024, Division I, Featured Stories, High School, News

GENEVA, N.Y. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is pleased to announce the members of the Hall of Fame, class of 2023, and the 2023 NFHCA Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Selected as the 24th class of the NFHCA Hall of Fame are current Skowhegan High School varsity head coach Paula Doughty, current James Madison University head coach Christy Morgan, and current varsity head coach at North Branford High School Babby Nuhn. Former head coach at the University of Iowa Tracey Griesbaum, is this year’s NFHCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

“The Hall of Fame Committee had the humbling task of reviewing some of the most decorated and impactful coaches in our field,” said NFHCA Hall of Fame Committee chair and Penn State University associate head coach, Laura Gebhart. “We are thrilled for this Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Class of 2023. They represent a breadth and depth of knowledge, passion, and achievement.”

The honorees will be recognized on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at the NFHCA Awards Dinner, the culminating event at the 2024 NFHCA Annual Convention in Lake Mary, Florida.

More About Our Honorees

Paula Doughty

Paula Doughty

Paula Doughty, current varsity head coach at Skowhegan Area High School in Skowhegan, Maine, has accumulated an overall varsity record of 599-91-20 over 43 years as the varsity coach. Throughout her time at Skowhegan, her teams have won 20 state championships, 27 Eastern/Northern Maine championships, and 19 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships. She was the 2004 National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year, the 2008 National Federation of State High School Associations National High School Coach of the Year, the 2016 National Max Preps High School Coach of the Year, and the 2022 Portland Press Herald Coach of the Year. Additionally, she was the recipient of the NFHCA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year in 2011. She was inducted into the Maine Legends Hall of Fame in 2010, the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, and Maine Principals Hall of Fame in 2015. Doughty has coached 113 players who continued their careers at the collegiate level.

“This award to me validates the years of hard work done by everyone who has ever been involved in Skowhegan Field Hockey since its inception after being created by Title IX in 1972. Players, coaches, parents, fans, and the Skowhegan Field Hockey community, this award celebrates you all for our endeavors of the past 48 years.”

Christy Morgan

Christy Morgan

Christy Morgan joined the athletics staff at James Madison University in 1991 after an illustrious playing career at Old Dominion University and stints at University of New Hampshire and University of Maryland. Across her 18 seasons at James Madison spanning from 1991-1999 and 2014-present, Morgan has amassed a 226-132-2 record. In 1994, Morgan’s team finished with a 20-3-1 record, highlighted by capturing the school’s first team national championship versus top ranked University of North Carolina. This national title also made Morgan the first person in NCAA field hockey history to win a national championship both as a player and coach. Under her leadership, Morgan is a member of the United States Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame, James Madison University Hall of Fame, Old Dominion University Sports Hall of Fame, and Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Morgan was the recipient of the 1984 Honda Award for Field Hockey, four-time recipient of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year, spent eight years on the USA National Team, and was a member of the 1988 USA Olympic Team.

“When I got the call, I was stunned and super excited. I think the group of coaches who have been inducted before me have been great leaders and coaches, and I am happy to be a part of that esteemed group. This is an honor and a privilege to be inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame – it’s a prestigious group and I am truly blessed.” 

Babby Nuhn

Babby Nuhn

Babby Nuhn, the current varsity head coach at North Branford High School in North Branford, Connecticut, boasts an impressive record spanning from 1972 to 2022, amassing a 557-209-103-7 record, which equates to a remarkable .720 win percentage. During her tenure at North Branford, her teams have achieved outstanding success, securing six state championships, making appearances in eight state championship finals, and clinching 14 conference championships.

Nuhn’s exceptional coaching prowess has garnered her numerous prestigious accolades. She had been honored as the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Coach of the Year in Class S for both 2010 and 2017. In recognition of her remarkable career, she was inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2019.

“What started out as a teaching and coaching job right out of college in the 70’s became an extremely rewarding career as an educator and coach at North Branford High School in Connecticut,” Nuhn remarked. “And now to be recognized by the NFHCA is the quintessential award of my career! To be included with other Hall of Famers is such a humbling experience. I have been surrounded with strong and positive coaches, parents, players, colleagues, my friends and family, and the entire North Branford community for these five decades. Each of them are the reasons I have stayed with coaching for so long!”


Tracey Griesbaum

Tracey Griesbaum

Tracey Griesbaum is renowned for her illustrious coaching career and her advocacy that has spanned several decades at various institutions. She held coaching positions at LaSalle University, the University of Iowa, and Duke University. In addition to her direct service to collegiate athletics, she also coached within various USA Field Hockey teams and programs, such as the U-19, U-21, U-23, Senior High Performance, Futures, and Nexus teams.

As the head field hockey coach at the University of Iowa, Griesbaum led the program to four Big Ten Championships and reached six NCAA First and Second rounds as well as the 2008 NCAA semifinals. During her assistant coaching stint at Iowa, she helped lead the program to five Big Ten Championships and four NCAA semifinal appearances. While at Iowa, she developed numerous talented players, coaching 20 All-Americans, 52 Regional All-Americans, and 53 All-Big Ten Selections. She faced significant challenges during her head coaching tenure due to inequities within the athletics program, dwindling resources, and recruiting challenges of leading a field hockey program in the Midwest post 9/11. Despite these obstacles, her passion, determination, and work ethic allowed her to maintain a national top-20 program and achieve noted success.

At the age of 48, she was wrongfully terminated by Iowa. This action by Iowa led her to file a discrimination lawsuit against the University. In the end, she secured a settlement victory for herself and female coaches around the country. Griesbaum has remained an undeterred and outspoken advocate, shedding light on gender bias and discrimination in coaching. Her commitment to advancing the sport of field hockey and championing women in all sports and professions remains steadfast. She continues to advocate for equity and women across the country.

“It’s hard to believe that I am a candidate for a ‘lifetime achievement’ award when I feel I have so many more people to support and professional opportunities to experience in the world of athletics and field hockey specifically. In some ways, I feel like I am just getting started! Women’s sports have undoubtedly gained support and momentum over the past 38 years (since I started coaching), but we have miles to go. Until opportunity, support, treatment, and compensation are equal and fair, I will continue to strive for improvements at every turn.”

The Awards

The NFHCA Hall of Fame was established in 1999 to honor exceptional field hockey coaches, administrators, and umpires for their success on and off the field. The Class of 2023 will be the 24th cohort to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The NFHCA Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2018 to distinguish a seasoned coach and their significant impact on our sport. With this award their courage, leadership, and strength are being recognized as well as their outstanding commitment to the sport of field hockey.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.